“If you don’t want to walk, break in a horse!” to Wayne from his father.
Wayne Dunafon was born in Yuma, Colorado to Jessie and Clarence Dunafon on June 15, 1919. Soon after, the family moved to the Nebraska Sand Hills. When Wayne was five, the family moved to Russell, Kansas by horse-drawn wagon. Before his senior year in High School the family moved back to Colorado. Wayne’s father was an avid horse trainer and urged his son to do the same. Active in rodeo, Wayne participated in five events professionally by the age of 18. In 1940 he moved to Westmoreland, Kansas. Ten years into his rodeo career, Wayne was ranked top ten for All-Around. He hung onto the toughest bucking horses and was a great steer wrestler. In 1956 he was runner up to the World Champion Bull-Dogger. He has two Champion All-Around Cowboy saddles and holds numerous buckles in steer wrestling. His rodeo career spanned over 27 years. Lee Jeans Company made him a worldwide American cowboy image and he was one of the famous “Marlboro Men.” He modeled for television and magazines from 1940 to 1978. On July 10, 1958 he married Lorraine (Lori) Ferguson in Missouri. They had two children, Wendy and Doug, and have five grandchildren. In 1976 Wayne served as Vice President of the newly founded Kaw Valley Rodeo Association. Wayne was a proud member of the Cowboy Turtle Association and the Rodeo Cowboy Association, and was a Gold-Life Member of the Pro Rodeo Association; all for over 60 years. He also held memberships in the Wesby Saddle Club, the Kansas Livestock Association and the Screen Actors Guild. He made his home with Lori in Westmoreland until his death on July 8, 2001. He was posthumously inducted into the National Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City in 2005.
Year inducted: 2009